Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Profile


With the number one pick in the draft and one of the strongest fanbases in terms of representation on Draft Twitter, I wanted to bring two of the sharpest Wolves minds to help contribute to this draft preview. Logan Alten (@LAltenNBA) and Tyler Metcalf (@TMetcalf11) helped create a Wolves draft board.

Picks Held: 1, 17, 33

Team Needs: Interior defense, shooters

Current players under contract for next season: 

Guards: D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Culver

Wings: Jake Layman, Josh Okogie, Jacob Evans

Bigs: Karl-Anthony Towns, Omari Spellman, Jarred Vanderbilt, Naz Reid

Options: James Johnson (player)

Upcoming FA: Jordan McLaughlin (RFA), Malik Beasley (RFA), Kelan Martin (RFA), Juancho Hernangomez (RFA)

Past 5 drafts:

2015: Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones

2016: Kris Dunn

2017: Justin Patton

2018: Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop

2019: Jarrett Culver, Jaylen Nowell

#1 Big Board:


  1. Onyeka Okongwu
  2. Anthony Edwards
  3. Deni Avdija
  4. LaMelo Ball
  5. Patrick Williams
  6. James Wiseman
  7. Killian Hayes
  8. Devin Vassell
  9. Isaac Okoro
  10. Kira Lewis
  11. Cole Anthony
  12. Tyrese Maxey
  13. Saddiq Bey
  14. Obi Toppin
  15. Tyrese Haliburton


  1. LaMelo Ball
    Ball is the best player of this draft and while he isn’t the perfect fit, none of the other top members of this draft are either. 
  2. James Wiseman

Wiseman would provide Minnesota needed interior defense and is one of the few members of the draft that has star potential.

  1. Deni Avdija

The Wolves biggest hole in the lineup is their forward rotation. Deni would fill a lot of needs (secondary playmaking, defense, being a larger forward) without hurting the team too much elsewhere, especially if he develops his shot.

  1. Onyeka Okongwu
    Okongwu is essentially everything the Wolves need on defense, he’s just potentially an awkward fit with KAT and a front office that has made it known that they want to run a one guard, three wings/forwards, one big system. 
  2. Tyrese Maxey

Maxey should slot in pretty well next to Wolves star D’Angelo Russell being an explosive and dynamic scorer on offense and a tenacious defender, which the Wolves won’t be able to get enough of. 

  1. Devin Vassell

Like Okongwu, Devin Vassell is an awesome fit for the team. He’ll come in as a good shooter–at least better than Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver–and won’t be a step down from them defensively. 

  1. Isaac Okoro 

Okoro would give Minnesota another larger bodied defender (Okogie got manhandled by larger/stronger wings at times) that will be able to guard wings and smaller forwards, add some needed secondary playmaking and slashing. He’s kinda a worse shooting version of what Minnesota hopes Jarrett Culver can be. 

  1. Anthony Edwards

Most Wolves fans had an Andrew Wiggins size hole develop in their hearts at the trade deadline, and well, Anthony Edwards could fill it to some extent while provided a larger feel for the game and All Star potential.

  1. Obi Toppin

At power forward the Wolves need a player that can switch/guard down, guard in space, and stretch the floor a little. Toppin only checks the last box. The athletic forward would help the Wolves offense go into hyper drive though and could be a huge trade asset if Minnesota wants to draft strictly for trade value.

  1. Killian Hayes

D’Angelo Russell has shown a few times that he could play next to another guard in the right situations. Killian Hayes could offer Minnesota another guy with All Star potential while giving them a strong playmaker with some defensive upside. 

  1. Patrick Williams

A very raw defensive-minded prospect, Williams is an interesting flier to take. There’s a very plausible road to him being the perfect power forward on the defensive end for the team.

  1. Aleksej Pokusevski

Poku (and Williams) likely only happen if the Wolves either trade up from 17 or trade down from one (both of which have been rumored to be a desire of the team). He’s a super raw prospect that would be a swing for the fences type pick. If he reaches his ceiling he definitely won’t be fixing the Wolves defense, but would give them a complete offensive All-Star forward. 

  1. Cole Anthony

POBO Gersson Rosas has a knack for taking chances on players that didn’t work out in their current spots but have potential and that is exactly Anthony’s situation. He had an underwhelming freshman year accompanied with injuries and not the greatest set of teammates. Anthony wouldn’t be an ideal fit, but he’d be another could be an All Star/flippable asset later type of draftee.

  1. Tyrell Terry

Minnesota’s own Tyrell Terry would give the team a boost offensively, help their spacing, and hurt their defense. Offensively his shooting and playmaking would fit nicely next to D’Lo, however it may not outweigh how much he’d hurt the team on defense. He’d be another draft for resale value type of guy. 

  1. Saddiq Bey

A player best off taken around the late lottery due to limited upside, Bey is a pretty nice fit for Minnesota. He’s an elite shooter and will likely be a good, versatile defender that shouldn’t have much of a problem guarding 2-4’s. 


  1. Deni Avdija

Avdija is a dream fit in Minnesota. His well-rounded game along with impressive intangibles make him not only the best player available but also the best fit. Avdija can act as a secondary or tertiary playmaker who can run in transition with ease, attack the rim, and create for others off the bounce. The concern with Avdija’s shot is fair, but we’ve seen him iron out inconsistencies in his form and after their hiatus, Avdija’s free throw percentage jumped into the 70s. Avdija has also shown tremendous growth as a defender which I only expect to continue.

  1. Isaac Okoro

Due to Okoro’s lack of a jumper, this may seem like a reach, but that is Okoro’s only weakness. Okoro is the best defender in this class and has an NBA ready body. He will be able to switch 1-4 while being a devastating on-ball and off-ball defender. All Okoro needs to make an impact on offense is a modicum of creativity. He is an excellent slasher and finisher at the rim. He also is one of the best passers at his position. Unlocking Okoro on offense isn’t hard to imagine, despite his lack of a jumper. If, and it’s a massive if, his jumper ever does come around, Okoro will be the best player in this draft.

  1. Anthony Edwards

I have major concerns over Edwards’s lake of effort and tendency to disappear for long stretches of games. He gives off major Andrew Wiggins vibes. With that said, Edwards also has the highest ceiling in this draft. Edwards is a freak athlete, great shot creator, and has the tools to be a good defender. If Edwards is willing to accept the challenge of being coached hard for the first time in his life, he is one of the few players who could experience an All Star game.

  1. Killian Hayes

The fit is a little awkward with D’Angelo Russell, but the marked improvements we’ve seen from Hayes over the last year have been substantial. With his left hand, Hayes is an absolute wizard. He is one of the best passers in this draft who can expertly run a pick-and-roll. His jumper has had inconsistent results, but his footwork and ball-handling have helped him become a quality space creator. Hayes also turned one of his weaknesses at the beginning of the season, his defense, into what is now a strength. He works hard defensively and has improved his defensive awareness. 

  1. Tyrese Haliburton

Haliburton is one of the few players in this draft I view as being successful regardless of their landing spot. He can play on or off ball which makes him an appealing fit in any rotation. Haliburton is the best, at worst second-best, playmaker in transition and is in the same conversation as Hayes and Ball with his half-court playmaking. I understand that Haliburton will struggle shooting off the catch due to his funky form, but he has proven that he is an excellent shooter. Defensively, Haliburton is one of the best team defenders. His awareness, length, and activity allow him to defend the weak side nearly on his own. Haliburton may not have as high of a ceiling as some other top prospects, but he will be part of a lot of winning basketball.

  1. Devin Vassell

In one of the more recent examples of “Why Social Media Is the Worst”, we saw the NBA community freak out over Vassell’s shooting form and its alleged change. In reality, nothing has changed with Vassell’s shot and he is still the 3-and-D wing we all fell in love with. Vassell is an incredibly intelligent defender. His awareness and ability to roam off-ball will make an immediate impact. He lacks elite athleticism which will hurt him as an on-ball defender, but his overall impact will be a huge positive. Offensively, Vassell is a good shooter. It’s just that simple. He is deadly off the catch and showed remarkable growth off the dribble this season. He struggles to create much space, but his high release point and length make him nearly impossible to block.

  1. Onyeka Okongwu

This seems very unlikely to happen due to the franchise’s averseness to playing two big men, but Okongwu would be a fascinating experiment alongside Towns. Okongwu is the best big man defender in this class who also has the ability to momentarily switch on the perimeter. He would clean up a lot of Towns’s mistakes and be the rim protector the Timberwolves desperately need. Okongwu is more limited on offense since he lacks a reliable jumper, but he is a devastating interior finisher and has shown flashes of being an impressive ball-mover.

  1. LaMelo Ball

I know what you were thinking and no I did not forget about Ball, despite having him eighth. Ball absolutely has the potential to be a generational playmaker. His vision and accuracy are elite and his height is a major asset. Outside of that, though, I struggle to buy into Ball. I do not trust that his shot will drastically improve and I have even bigger concerns over his shot selection. Additionally, Ball is completely averse to contact at the rim which results in unnecessary shot adjustments and wild misses that should have been easy makes. Like his shot selection, Ball is also a mess on defense. I understand that his brilliant IQ and size suggest he could be a good defender, but until I see any sort of consistent, positive defense, I’m not buying it. Ball may have the highest ceiling in this draft, but he also needs the most things to go right for him in order to hit it.

  1. James Wiseman

I really don’t like this fit at all, but if he really is going to be the elite talent many thought he was in high school, then I can sell myself on it. Wiseman is a freak athlete with a ton of potential as a defensive cornerstone. With Wiseman, the Timberwolves could have the modern version of their own twin towers, but I struggle to see Wiseman reaching his peak in Minnesota.

  1. Patrick Williams

Williams has been one of the biggest risers recently as some are now projecting him as high as fourth overall. Williams will be more of a project, but his size and defensive potential make him an intriguing pick. His most significant impact will come defensively, but I do expect his offensive game to develop steadily. He reworked his shooting mechanics since high school which has resulted in varied results shooting off the catch where he tends to overthink it. When he shoots off the dribble, his release is much smoother and more natural. He needs to improve his perimeter footwork on defense so he doesn’t get torched on switches, but his rim protection is enticing.

  1. Obi Toppin

At the very least Toppin in Minnesota would result in one of the most electric offenses in the NBA. Toppin’s explosiveness is eye popping and he is a versatile scorer. He would be a seamless fit next to Towns on offense and they may average 130 points a night. However, if you thought the Timberwolves’ defense was a dumpster fire before, you haven’t seen anything yet.

  1. Tyrese Maxey

Maxey is a high energy guard defender who will never stop working. His lack of size will limit his switchability, but his effort and IQ will make him a positive defender. Offensively, Maxey is a streaky shooter, but has shown to be an effective slasher. His role at Kentucky forced him more as an off-ball guard, but I do think that he has more playmaking upside than he was allowed to show.

  1. Aleksej Pokusevski

This would be maximum chaos. Poku is a seven-footer who moves like a guard. He is a decent shooter and impressive creator off the dribble. He struggles to play through contact and isn’t the best decision maker, but he has an intriguing ceiling and is the ultimate home run swing prospect.

  1. Josh Green

Besides Okoro, Green is likely the best perimeter defender in this class. He has incredible energy, awareness, and footwork on that end of the floor. At the very least, Green has All-NBA Defense upside. Green is also a freak athlete which is on display in transition and when he attacks the rim. He proved that he is a quality off-ball shooter, but until he learns how to make a layup, his offensive upside is limited.

  1. RJ Hampton

As far as athletes in this class go, few are in the same tier as Hampton. Despite mixed results and somehow avoiding zero screens this year, I do think Hampton will be a good defender. His athleticism is a major asset, but more importantly, he never stops working. His defensive blunders were due more to a lapse in fundamentals, not a lapse in effort. To take Hampton, you have to sell yourself on the upside. He is a good passer and finisher, but I struggle to buy the shot right now. If Hampton hits his full potential, though, he could be excellent.

#17 Big Board:


  1. Aleksej Pokusevski
  2. Josh Green
  3. Desmond Bane
  4. Aaron Nesmith
  5. Grant Riller
  6. Daniel Oturu
  7. Tyrell Terry
  8. Jaden McDaniels
  9. Xavier Tillman
  10. Elijah Hughes
  11. Jalen Smith
  12. Zeke Nnaji
  13. Tyler Bey
  14. Robert Woodard II
  15. Malachi Flynn


  1. Kira Lewis
  2. Jahmi’us Ramsey
  3. Aaron Nesmith
  4. Desmond Bane
  5. Tyrese Haliburton
  6. Daniel Oturu
  7. Jalen Smith
  8. Theo Maledon
  9. Precious Achiuwa
  10. Mason Jones
  11. Grant Riller
  12. Isaiah Joe
  13. Zeke Nnaji
  14. Tre Jones
  15. Jay Scrubb


  1. Precious Achiuwa
  2. Desmond Bane
  3. Tyrell Terry
  4. Kira Lewis
  5. Aaron Nesmith
  6. Malachi Flynn
  7. Jay Scrubb
  8. Saddiq Bey
  9. Zeke Nnaji
  10. Theo Maledon
  11. Ty-Shon Alexander
  12. Jalen Smith
  13. Jaden McDaniels
  14. Xavier Tillman
  15. Robert Woodard

#33 Big Board:


  1. Elijah Hughes
  2. Daniel Oturu
  3. Jaden McDaniels
  4. Malachi Flynn
  5. Devon Dotson
  6. Tre Jones
  7. Jalen Harris
  8. Jahmi’us Ramsey
  9. Isaiah Stewart
  10. Cassius Stanley


  1. Paul Reed
  2. Leandro Bolmaro
  3. Killian Tillie
  4. Josh Green
  5. Xaiver Tillman
  6. Tyler Bey
  7. Jaden McDaniels
  8. Isaiah Stewart
  9. Immanuel Quickley
  10. RJ Hampton


  1. Tre Jones
  2. Killian Tillie
  3. Grant Riller
  4. Cassius Stanley
  5. Tyler Bey
  6. Isaiah Joe
  7. Elijah Hughes
  8. Skylar Mays
  9. Mason Jones
  10. Sam Merrill


  1. Elijah Hughes
  2. Tyler Bey
  3. Zeke Nnaji
  4. Isaiah Joe
  5. Daniel Oturu
  6. Malachi Flynn
  7. Mason Jones
  8. Cassius Stanley
  9. Isaiah Stewart
  10.  Cassius Winston

Other options:

There are a few things on the Wolves agenda that could see them shuffle all around the draft, or even completely out of it.

  1. Trade for a star–The Wolves have made it clear that they want to compete sooner rather than later, and that route could be achieved by using #1, #17, Jarrett Culver, and future picks to acquire a third star to pair with Russell and Towns. 
  2. Trade for a 2021 pick–In the D’Angelo Russell trade the Wolves sent a top 3 protected 2021 first round pick (unprotected in 2022) and due to it being a loaded draft class the Wolves may trade down from one, or out of the draft from 17, to get back into next year’s draft.
  3. Trade mania–Sachin Gupta, the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, invented the trade machine and the Wolves front office isn’t a stranger to trades. There are rumors that the team wants to trade down from #1 and also trade up from #17 so the Wolves could be flying all over the draft board.